Chapter 1.2 The Size and Distribution of Peatland in Indonesia

Indonesia’s peatland areas have not yet been fully or reliably documented. In 1992, a researcher from Bogor Soil Research Centre claimed there were 15.4 million hectares of peatland. In 2001, the Indonesian Centre for Agricultural Land Research and Development calculated 14.9 million hectares whereas in 2005, Wetlands International estimated it at 20.6 million hectares.

The geographical distribution and estimated area of peatlands in Indonesia.

Differences in defining peatlands, mapping methodologies and the annual fluctuations in drainage make it more difficult to determine the exact extent of peatlands in Indonesia.

In 1992, Kusumo Nugroho, a researcher from Bogor Soil Research Centre, drew information from various maps of land in Indonesia and stated that there were around 15.4 million hectares of peatland in the country.

In 2005, Wetlands International estimated that there were 20.6 million hectares of peatland in Indonesia. Meanwhile, the Indonesian Centre of Agricultural Land Research and Development and the Indonesian Soil Research Institute in 2011 estimated that there were 14.9 million hectares of peatland. From 14.9 million hectares, 6.4 million hectares (43%) in Sumatra, 4.8 million (32%) in Kalimantan island, and 3.7 million hectares (25%) in Papua.

To better understand the distribution of peatland areas in Indonesia, explore the Pantau Gambut interactive restoration map.